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SFS Annual Meeting

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EFFECT OF LEAF-LITTER SPECIES ON NEW ZEALAND MUD SNAIL (POTAMOPYRGUS ANTIPODARUM) GROWTH RATES

The New Zealand mud snail (NZMS) (Potamopyrgus antipodarum) is an invasive species in the Laurentian Great Lakes where populations have existed since at least 1991, with very recent secondary invasions into rivers and streams. The factors that determine growth rates of populations and individuals have yet to be determined. Since NZMS are considered herbivore/detritivores, the quality and species of leaf litter they consume could affect growth rates, and their success as invaders. In response, a laboratory experiment was conducted in which individual snails were reared on ash, cottonwood, sugar maple, and red oak, and no leaves for 5 weeks. Snail length and leaf decomposition rates were measured weekly. Growth rates significantly differed among leaf species. Cottonwood and ash had the highest growth rates and grew by 54.4% and 46.7% respectively. Snails given maple, oak, and no leaves grew by 19.9%, 14.1%, and 6.1%. Leaf decomposition rates did not differ between species, suggesting that assimilation efficiency, rather than feeding rates, differed among litter species. This research lends insights into how forest community changes in the Great Lakes region could affect NZMS growth and their subsequent invasion success.

Emily Bovee (Primary Presenter/Author), Dept. of Biological Sciences, Oakland University, enbovee@oakland.edu;


Jeremy Geist (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Dept. of Biological Sciences, Oakland University, jageist@oakland.edu;


Justine Lawson (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Dept. of Biological Sciences, Oakland University, lawsonjustine@hotmail.com;


Scott Tiegs (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Dept. of Biological Sciences, Oakland University, tiegs@oakland.edu;